Well, 2017 has finally ended, and in our Hollywood neighborhood, all that holiday buzz is morphing into awards season buzz. From the Golden Globes (January 7th), to the Critics’ Choice Awards (January 11th), to the SAG Awards (January 21th), and finally the Academy Awards (March 4th), the prizes are about to start piling up for all of our favorites in film and television from the last year. So, in the spirit of awards season, we want to recognize some of our favorite eco-friendly celebrities.
1. Penélope Cruz
Cruz has been a conscious voice in Hollywood for years now, speaking out on issues from animal rights to global poverty. In 2005, she participated in the “Red Carpet / Green Cars” initiative, which had celebrities arrive at the Oscars in hybrid vehicles. Furthermore, Cruz herself has made a commitment to driving hybrid cars. She has also advocated for Global Green’s “Greenest City” campaign, challenging cities to compete to win a fleet of hybrid taxis.
2. Natalie Portman
Portman has been a vegetarian (and more recently, a vegan) for 20 years, choosing to “adapt to a sustainable lifestyle after learning of the health risks and environmental effects that come with the mass production of animals.” In addition to being a vegan herself, Portman created a line of vegan shoes in 2008. The actress also played a large part in the efforts to save gorillas in Rwanda, filming a documentary of her journey in 2007. In 2017, she was honored with the “Ongoing Commitment Award” from the Environmental Media Association because of her track record of environmental advocacy.
3. Cate Blanchett
Blanchett and her husband, Andrew Upton, were leading advocates of the “Greening the Wharf” project, a campaign to transition the Wharf Theater in Sydney to solar power. One of Hollywood’s most recognizable celebrities, she is the face of Australia’s “Who on Earth Cares” program. Blanchett has also committed to reducing her carbon footprint by nearly 30,000 pounds of CO2. In her words, “I care about climate change because of our children. I want to safeguard their future. It is a situation that affects each and every one of us, in this country and around the world.”
4. Mark Ruffalo
You won’t like him when he’s angry. In 2011, Ruffalo founded Water Defense, an organization committed to eliminating hydraulic fracturing in the state of New York. In 2016, he publicly called on President Obama to “use his last 100 days to crack down on hydraulic fracking.” He has also criticized California Gov. Jerry Brown for having “put the fossil fuel industry above all others.” Finally, Ruffalo received the “Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award” from Global Green in 2011.
5. Matt Damon
Damon co-founded the H20 Africa Foundation in 2006 to raise awareness of initiatives for clean water in Africa. Afterwards, in 2009, he co-founded Water.org, a nonprofit that helps provide clean water in developing countries through microfinance loans. Damon’s 2013 film “Promised Land” also served as a platform for critics of natural gas production and fracking. He also hosted a PBS environmental series in 2013 entitled “Journey to Planet Earth.” Damon received the “Ongoing Commitment Award” at the 2013 Environmental Media Awards.
6. Gisele Bundchen
Gisele’s passion for the environment began early in her career after she witnessed the problems faced by an Indian tribe in the Amazon rainforest due to deforestation and pollution. This experience led her to start a flip-flop line, Ipanema, to raise awareness and funds for green causes. In 2008, she also launched the Clean Water Project to advocate for sustainable environmental management. More recently, she has served with other celebrities as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations. She has also advocated alongside author and environmentalist Paul Hawkin to promote his new book, “Drawdown.”
7. Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo di Caprio has been advocating for a greener planet starting as early as 1998. His Leonardo di Caprio Foundation promotes “innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities.” He has raised nearly $80 million for various environmental causes through the foundation. Because of his commitment to the cause, di Caprio was named the UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change in 2014. In 2017, he announced he would be donating $20 million distributed across nearly 100 organizations to battle climate change through his foundation.
8. Gwyneth Paltrow
Through her hit fashion and beauty website Goop, Paltrow regularly promotes sustainable products, brands, and lifestyle tips. In 2014, while partnering with clean water nonprofit DROP4DROP, she posted a makeup-free photo on social media in support of the cause. In 2015, she was one of several celebrities honored by the Environmental Media Association, receiving the Green Parent Award.
9. Edward Norton
Norton developed a passion for nature while spending time outdoors growing up. His father, a lawyer, fought for the environment in court cases with the EPA. Norton narrated the 2008 PBS documentary series “Strange Days on Planet Earth” that shed light on several interconnected global environmental problems. Norton also serves as president of the U.S. chapter of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. In 2009, he ran in the New York City Marathon to raise money for the cause. Finally, in 2010, Norton was designated as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Eco-Friendly Celebrities, Eco-Friendly Us
After a crazy 2017, it’s refreshing to remember there is still a lot of good happening in the world. We are grateful for celebrities like these who are using their platforms to work toward a better future. We invite you to park with us in 2018 and join the fight for cleaner cities and a sustainable lifestyle.